HONOLULU (KHON2) — There is nothing like spending quality time with loved ones with holidays usually the time when many families make those plans to visit one another, but doctors share a reminder to keep some of the best practices learned during the pandemic in mind. 

Doctors are seeing an increase in flu and RSV cases, while COVID-19 continues to circulate. Dr. Tony Trpkovski with Niu Health and Doctors of Waikiki said he is noticing more people letting their guards down when it comes to preventing illnesses. 

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“What I’ve noticed is, you know, people because they make plans, they’ll end up going to parties or other events or travel even when they’re sick,” Dr. Trpkovski said. “And then being sick, meaning they could have either the flu or COVID or RSV or something else, they should pay respect and be cautious about not getting their loved ones sick.”

Staying at home when feeling sick remains one of the best ways to prevent the spreading of illnesses. But, there are times when people do not show symptoms or start feeling ill days after attending a gathering. If someone is exposed to COVID at a holiday party, the CDC recommends for those close contacts to wear a mask and take a COVID test five days after being exposed. 

Dr. Trpkovski said, “If you have the COVID test at home, take the COVID test because that’s available. If you still don’t, if the COVID test is negative, you still don’t know what’s going on, go to your doctor.”

Five days of isolation is still the CDC guidance for those who test positive for COVID, as well as wearing a mask for another five days when going to public spaces. 

For other respiratory illnesses like RSV, Dr. Trpkovski said there is no treatment but doctors could monitor symptoms and check if other illnesses could flare up as a result. 

As for the flu, there is an antiviral medication a doctor could prescribe if a person knows they were exposed to the flu virus. 

Dr. Trpkovski said, “We have tested and tried methods to help people not get the flu by taking this prophylactic, Tamiflu, Xofluza.”

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A good hand wash and wearing a mask in crowded places can also reduce the chances of catching a respiratory illness this holiday season.